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Responsible Recycling

R2 Requirements for Chain of Custody and Downstream Vendors

How you deal with chain of custody and downstream vendors is of critical importance to R2 Certification.   Adhering to R2 requirements for chain of custody and downstream vendors is essential for promoting responsible recycling practices, protecting the environment, and safeguarding sensitive data.  Here we provide guidance on the essential steps you need to take and best practices you need to follow in these areas.


Understanding Chain of Custody: In the context of electronics recycling, the "chain of custody" refers to the documented trail of possession and transfer of used electronics from the point of collection through processing, refurbishment, and final disposition. It ensures transparency and accountability throughout the recycling process, safeguarding against improper handling and disposal practices that could harm the environment or compromise sensitive data.


R2 Requirements for Chain of Custody: To achieve R2 certification, recycling facilities and downstream vendors must adhere to specific requirements regarding chain of custody. These requirements include:


Documentation and Record-Keeping: Maintaining accurate records documenting the receipt, handling, and transfer of used electronics throughout the recycling chain. This includes records of quantities, types of equipment, and relevant dates.

Tracking and Traceability: Implementing systems to track the movement of used electronics at each stage of the recycling process. This may involve the use of barcodes, serial numbers, or other unique identifiers to trace items from collection to final disposition.

Secure Storage and Transportation: Ensuring that used electronics are stored and transported securely to prevent loss, theft, or damage. This includes measures such as locked storage areas, secure packaging, and tracking mechanisms during transportation.

Data Security: Implementing procedures to safeguard against the unauthorized access, disclosure, or loss of sensitive data stored on electronic devices. This may involve data wiping or destruction methods that comply with industry-recognized standards for data sanitization.

Auditing and Compliance: Conducting regular audits of chain of custody procedures to ensure compliance with R2 requirements. This may involve internal audits as well as third-party audits conducted by accredited certification bodies.

Downstream Vendor Requirements: Downstream vendors play a critical role in the electronics recycling supply chain, as they are responsible for processing, refurbishing, or disposing of used electronics in accordance with R2 standards. Key requirements for downstream vendors include:


R2 Certification: Downstream vendors must be R2 certified or adhere to equivalent environmental, health, and safety standards recognized by the R2 program.

Due Diligence: Conducting due diligence to ensure that downstream vendors comply with R2 requirements and do not engage in practices that could compromise environmental or data security standards.

Contractual Agreements: Establishing contractual agreements that clearly outline the responsibilities of both parties regarding chain of custody, data security, and environmental stewardship.

Monitoring and Oversight: Implementing mechanisms to monitor the performance of downstream vendors and ensure ongoing compliance with R2 standards. This may involve site visits, audits, or other forms of oversight.

By following these guidelines, recycling facilities and downstream vendors can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices and accountability in the electronics recycling industry.

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